In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Previously we’ve been looking at God’s providence, particularly to humans in the beginning. Thus we saw that God initially provided humans with paradise and dominion over creation. Today I want to look at how God provided humans with marriage.

After God created Adam, he made a profound statement: ‘The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”‘ (Genesis 2:18). Then God paraded all the animals in front of Adam and demonstrated that none was suitable for Adam as a helper: ‘Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found’ (Genesis 2:19-20). So God made a woman for Adam: ‘So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.”‘ (Genesis 2:21-23).

Thus marriage between a man and a woman is like no other relationship. It is specifically designed to help us in this world with both our physical and spiritual needs. And if marriage is a gracious gift of God to humans then no wonder Satan wants to damage that gift. He tries to do so with sins like adultery, lust and unlawful divorce. But in our day Satan has particularly tried to destroy marriage by redefining marriage as between two humans, regardless of gender or number of persons involved in the marriage.

So do you recognise that God provided humans with the gift of marriage to help them? Or do you want marriage to be whatever you define it as and in doing so lose the God-ordained help that you so often need?        

Joel Radford.